Granit Xhaka happy Switzerland will avoid facing Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka
Written by First Choice Radio on 25 March 2022
England host the Swiss in a friendly with both sides now preparing for the World Cup later this year
Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka is pleased to not be coming up against two of his in-form Arsenal team-mates at Wembley on Saturday evening.
England host the Swiss in a friendly with both sides now preparing for the World Cup later this year.
Xhaka has been part of an Arsenal team which has enjoyed a fine second half to the season so far, with the Gunners now favourites to claim a top-four Premier League finish.
The fact four Arsenal players were called up into Gareth Southgate’s initial 25-man squad for the Switzerland and Ivory Coast friendlies is testament to their recent form.
However, a hip injury forced goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to withdraw and Bukayo Saka followed suit after testing positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe could still feature for the hosts as Xhaka acknowledged the absence of the Arsenal pair could help Switzerland’s chances.
“Two of them are not playing tomorrow so it’s good because we know the quality they have,” he said of England’s Arsenal contingent.
“Of course they have a very good generation now, playing very well, not only in the national team but with Arsenal as well.
“We’re happy that Saka and Aaron are not playing tomorrow.
“We are doing very well at the moment. There are still nine games to play. We have to see what happens in those next games and afterwards you can ask me again how good the season was.”
Despite often polarising the opinion of the Arsenal supporters, Xhaka has notched up 178 Premier League appearances since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.
The 29-year-old believes those experiences make Saturday’s clash with England one that he can easily prepare for.
“Of course, they have good players in midfield but for me it is not like I have never played against them,” he added.
“I know them very well, played against them in the Premier League and for me it is not a big difference to play against them for the national team.
“I think they have a very strong with a lot of young players and they have experienced players as well.
“They had a very good Euros at home and lost the final but I think that is it, we have to look after ourselves and try to beat England.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub